Bitterroot & Smith Lake Excursion, Mother’s Day (05/13/2012), PART II

After leaving Bitterroot Lake, we took Rio home and then drove over to Smith Lake so I could take photos of all the birds we could find.  We took the back way from Whalebone Drive.  This was a dirt road for much of the way, so it was dusty, but it was better for bird-watching.

First, we saw these colorful little Tree Swallows visiting with each other on a fence.

Pretty little Tree Swallows

I love their iridescent feathers!

Tree Swallow

We parked at the small boat launching area, where we saw a Great Blue Heron fishing nearby.

Great Blue Heron

We didn’t see him/her catch anything, but she was busy trying.

Male Mallard Duck in the foreground

There was a male Mallard in the foreground.  We couldn’t tell whether he was sitting on a nest or was only resting.

Mallard Duck

We drove a little farther on and saw another Great Blue Heron.  Smith Lake probably has lots of herons.

Great Blue Heron

A Canada Goose swam into view.

The goose was joined by its mate.

They love each other!

Great Blue Heron

Now we know why they call them “Great” Blue Herons! He was impressive in the air.

Beautiful feathers

After the heron flew off, we drove on and I noticed a rare Wood Duck swimming around.

Colorful male Wood Duck

Isn’t he gorgeous?

I’m glad to have a telephoto lens on my camera, but I’ve found that I need an even stronger one.  Maybe I’ll look into an extender so I don’t need to buy a whole new lens.

We drove over the bridge and started to head home when I saw what looked like a Sandhill Crane.  I asked Bill to stop again.  He dropped me off along the bike path while he drove off to get some gas.

Sandhill Crane in the field

Sandhill Crane searching for food

Sandhill Crane

I could really use that extender right about now…

As I was watching, what I thought was another crane flew into the scene in the background.  I finally saw that it was another heron.  They’re all over the place!  But I love them!

Sandhill Crane with Great Blue Heron in the background

Sandhill Crane

The crane moved off, so I walked on down the bike path.  I noticed some horses across the road.  I got some good shots while waiting for Bill to come back and pick me up.

Horse with Brown-headed Cowbirds following in its wake

And here’s the final photo of the day.  I waited until I had the perfect shot.

I had a great Mother’s Day!